"There must be limits," said Famiglia Cristiana, an influential Catholic magazine that is distributed in parishes across Italy. "Those limits of decency have been exceeded. Those who have power, even with wide popular mandate, cannot claim they are in ethics-free territory," the magazine said in an editorial this week.
According to the story, "Four former students at Greensburg Central Catholic High School and a parent of another student at the Westmoreland County parochial school filed separate racial discrimination lawsuits this week in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh against the Diocese of Greensburg and the school.
More Catholics are more visibly active in the Obama administration than in any other administration in recent memory, reports Jerry Filteau. That realization in itself is no small thing for Catholics but the larger significance could be that the culture finally understands that Catholicism represents far more than a one- or two-issue culture war.
The amendment forces the public release of names, rank, country of origin, courses and dates of attendance of graduates and instructors of the Army's intelligence school at Fort Benning, Ga. formerly known as the School of Americas (SOA) and now called the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation or WHINSEC. Graduates of the school have been implicated in human rights violations and deaths of activists and church workers across Latin America.
The amendment was approved with a 224 to 190 vote. Now the amendment has to be approved by a joint House-Senate committee.
The Court of Appeals in Virginia yesterday upheld that state's ban on partial birth abortions by a 6-5 vote. A three member panel of the court had earlier invalidated the law but had to revisit the issue after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a national ban on the procedure.
There are two effects of the ruling, both of them admirable. First, it keeps the legislature in the business of deciding policies on this issue instead of the courts. People forget that Roe v. Wade permitted the state to set regulations and restrictions on the procedure. The state legislature is the proper venue for determining such regulations and restrictions.
"Cornerstones of faith." Matt 7:21-29
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus cautions his disciples that the foundation of faith is action not just words. Church membership, perfect attendance at worship, theological credentials are nice but not enough. The bedrock of faith is to do the will of God. Build your house on this rock, not on the sands of good intention or ritual practice.
Thousands of pilgrims from around the world are headed to Medjugorje as the town marks the 28th anniversary of what is said to be the Virgin Mary’s first appearance there. Some years back, in the late 1980s, I traveled to Medjugorje to check it out for myself. I spent some time with the young men and women who were claiming to see Mary and was with three of the youngsters at the very time they said Mary was appearing. We were on a small loft in the rear of the local church.
According to an article posted on the Council on Hemispheric Affairs Web site, Congress is scheduled to vote today on an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that would require the former School of the Americas (renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security and Cooperation) to release to the public the names, ranks, countries of origin, courses taken and dates of attendance of all the students and instructors at the institute.
The Anglican Church in North America -- that's the conservative group that broke with the Episcopal Church (USA) and the Anglican Church of Canada and claims 100,000 members in 700 parishes -- invited megachurch pastor and best-selling Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren to address its first assembly Tuesday in Bedford, Texas. The headline in the Dallas Morning News says Rick Warren shows support for breakaway Anglicans at Bedford gathering
Roots of the split among Episcopalians are deep but the wedge issue that forced the break was the ordination to bishop of an open, partnered gay man. (If you need more background do a search on NCR for "Gene Robinson" and you should find a few stories.)
Warren told the new Anglicans: "We stand with you in solidarity as God does something new in your midst."